Vessel Type Linked to Disease Severity in Prostate Cancer

Study finds primitive morphology associated with a greater likelihood of lethal disease

THURSDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Men with prostate tumors whose vascular supply consists of vessels with primitive morphology are more likely to develop lethal disease, according to a study published online Oct. 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Lorelei A. Mucci, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues examined the association between microvessel morphology (density, vessel size, and irregularity of vessel lumen) and mortality among 572 men with prostate cancer.

During 20 years of follow-up, the researchers observed that 44 men died of cancer or developed bone metastases. After adjusting for various factors, lethal disease was more likely in men who had tumors with the smallest diameter vessels (hazard ratio, 3.6 for the lowest quartile), the smallest area vessels (hazard ratio, 4.0 for the lowest quartile), and the most irregularly shaped vessels (hazard ratio, 10.9 for the least regular quartile). In contrast, microvessel density showed no association with disease severity.

"Aggressive tumors form vessels that are primitive in morphology and function, with consequences for metastases," Mucci and colleagues conclude. "Vascular size and irregularity reflect the angiogenic potential of prostate cancer and may serve as biomarkers to predict prostate cancer mortality several years after diagnosis."

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Physician's Briefing